“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
I’m falling in love with a man, and his name is Jesus. I’m finding that this love transcends any physical love I have experienced in my life; romantic love doesn’t compare to the love of which I speak; even the love I have for my family cannot compare; a total apples and oranges kind of situation. The love of which I speak is a love that embodies the very definition of love: patience, kindness, never envious, never boastful, never prideful, never dishonorable, never self-centered, never easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, never delighting in evil but in truth. The love of which I speak is a love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. Jesus is the love of which I speak, and He never falls short (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Jesus has fulfilled the longings of my aching heart; He has wiped away my tears. His design for my life all along was that of an unmarried man concerned about the work of God. “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Though the enemy sent me a distraction; I was born a homosexual, but nonetheless, God used this distraction, and all the heartache that came with it, to shape me into the man I am today. I am the man I am in Christ, not the man I was born into the flesh. So no, I do not live on bread alone (Matthew 4:4), and yes, I have been set free. My heart yearns heavenward; I suspect it always has.
The biblical account of the faith of the centurion has always touched my heart in a special way (Matthew 8; Luke 7). The Roman Empire was an extremely oppressive regime, and centurion work was a brutal and bloody business, so I can’t begin to imagine the reality and depth of the brokenness of that man. Yet, the reality and depth of his faith was one of the two times, in scripture, I believe Jesus is said to have marveled. The centurion didn’t consider himself worthy to come to Jesus in person let alone that Jesus should enter his house, and like the centurion, I realize that I am not worthy. But also as with the centurion, my faith redeems me, except that faith is not of myself. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Now, I’m the one who’s marveling; therefore, I will continue to speak boldly about my own walk with the Lord, but I will continue to tread neither blindly nor with indifference, but lightly, most certainly, where others are concerned, especially where I clearly recognize God’s grace at work. God is changing my heart and my life in His time and in ways I do not so far have words to adequately express. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it'” (Matthew 16:24-25).
I realize I’m opening myself up to skepticism, criticism, and even ridicule; these aren’t easy subjects to talk about, let alone share with the whole world. The love of which I speak leads to peace and joy, yet not a life of ease. Whether figuratively or literally, this love leads straight to the Cross. Sharing in Christ’s sufferings means sharing in His glory (Romans 8:17), What a most generous gift to receive your heart’s desire (Psalm 37:4). None of my natural human longings—to fall in love, to marry, and maybe even start a family, stood a chance. The Lord fulfilled His promise to me.
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